I was recently asked by a reader for some suggestions on helping his church’s leadership understand the need to hire an integrator for new building project.
This is something we talk about a lot. Sadly, most churches don’t do it well.
In the case of our reader, his leadership thinks that they can do the job in-house, and things will be just fine. As someone who has been working in churches a long time (25-plus years), I can tell you that in-house jobs rarely end up in the same zip code as fine.
Now, to be sure, there are some churches that can tackle an in-house install. Typically those churches are fairly large and have multiple technical personnel on staff.
That technical staff has collectively many years of experience doing design, and installing equipment. They also have a great relationship with an equipment vendor who they can ask advice on things they don’t know about.
Those churches are rare, however. Most churches are smaller with less experienced (if any) technical staff.
Now make no mistake; I think the small-church technical leader or volunteers are real heroes. They get stuff done in the face of non-existent budgets, time and equipment. But there is a vast difference between making things happen on a weekend and designing and installing a full-blown A/V/L system in a new (or renovated) building.
Designing a full system takes a lot of know-how, and requires an encyclopedic knowledge of equipment. Given the wildly varying standards we’re dealing with right now, it’s far too easy to end up with systems that won’t work together.
Designing loudspeaker systems is far more complex than hanging a few boxes in the air (which also needs to be done safely), and typically DIY projects are less than desirable.
As someone who for whatever reason seems to be the Mike Holmes of church tech, I can tell you’ve I’ve pulled out a lot of gear that was installed by well-meaning but terribly uninformed people. It can take years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix mistakes that were done in the name of saving money. Don’t do it!
Here are the top five reasons you should not do it yourself. Feel free to send this link to your pastor…